“When I arrived successful 2016, I acceptable retired to spell beyond the accepted engagements with governments, the diplomatic and concern communities, and prosecute and interact with the people, and their divers cultures and traditions. It has been an unthinkable journey, with milestones and legacies to physique on.
In the past 5 years, arsenic I applied myself to realizing this imaginativeness for the UN, I person enjoyed tremendous enactment and goodwill from the authorities and radical astatine the federal, state, and section authorities levels. For this, I stay everlastingly grateful, arsenic this would not person been imaginable without their continuous enactment and guidance.
Nigeria: an accidental and a hazard to the African region
Nigeria, being the astir populous state successful Africa and the fastest increasing system successful the region, provides large opportunities for economical maturation and development, not lone successful the state but successful the full African region.
On the flip side, these opportunities besides travel with challenges. Nigeria is astatine a crossroads, with multiple, analyzable challenges which person implications for peace, development, and stableness crossed the continent and beyond.
Consequently, Nigeria represents some an accidental and a hazard to the portion astatine ample and indispensable code 5 captious hazard factors to guarantee peace, information and stableness successful the country: societal cohesion, equality and non-discrimination; interior security; economical stability; justness and regularisation of law; and displacement and migration.
UNIC Lagos/ Oluseyi Soremekun
Edward Kallons, UN Resident Coordinator successful Nigeria (l) and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (r)
Nigeria is facing a fig of megatrends, including multidimensional poverty; governance and quality rights deficits; clime change; sluggish economical maturation astatine a clip of precocious colonisation growth; the constricted engagement of women successful civilian nine and politics; younker unemployment; and pockets of conflict, banditry, criminality and coercion driven by ethno-religious differences, and a emergence successful hatred speech.
Farmer-herder conflicts person go portion of broader tensions betwixt assorted actors, the proliferation of tiny arms and airy weapons continues to endanger nationalist security, and Nigeria accounts for 70 per cent of the astir 500 cardinal amerciable arms believed to beryllium circulating successful West Africa.
The United Nations response
The UN’s concern with the Government of Nigeria has been fruitful implicit the years and I permission with singular pridefulness successful the occurrence we person had successful raising planetary consciousness of the interaction of the atrocities committed by Boko Haram connected guiltless civilians, and associated efforts to bring anticipation to radical affected by the insurgency.
Together, we averted a famine successful 2017, tackled cholera outbreaks, alleviated quality suffering by providing humanitarian assistance to implicit 5 cardinal radical successful north-east Nigeria each year, mobilized implicit $3.2 cardinal for the humanitarian effect successful north-east
Nigeria from 2017 to date, and navigated the COVID-19 pandemic and the interaction the Boko Haram insurgency has had connected millions of people. Through the Nigeria One-UN Basket Fund, which raised $73.3 cardinal for the pandemic response, the UN procured astir 40 per cent of Nigeria’s COVID-19 aesculapian supplies.
UNIC Lagos/ Oluseyi Soremekun
5. UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Edward Kallon
The 41 cardinal Nigerians aged betwixt 18 and 29 represent immoderate 40 per cent of the country’s population, and adjacent to 20 per cent of each the young radical successful Africa.
To unlock this demographic dividend, Nigeria indispensable empower its younker to play constructive, unifying and innovative roles, and afloat see them successful the country’s improvement process. The younker indispensable person adjacent entree to economical opportunities and decent livelihoods. They are the contiguous and aboriginal of Nigeria, and determination is simply a request to marque them the nation’s spot successful achieving sustainable development.
I americium gladsome that the United Nations is supporting the government’s efforts done galore interventions – including Generation Unlimited, a caller public-private-youth concern level that volition equip 20 cardinal young Nigerians with skills and opportunities for economical empowerment and societal interaction – and the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme (NJFP), a younker empowerment concern inaugural betwixt the Federal Government of Nigeria and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), that seeks to link 20,000 talented graduates with section occupation opportunities.
UNIC Lagos/ Oluseyi Soremekun
UN Resident Coordinator successful Nigeria, Edward Kallon (r) receiving COVID-19 supplies astatine Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja
Light astatine the extremity of the tunnel
In the midst of these challenges, I spot airy astatine the extremity of the tunnel, with the surrendering of Boko Haram fighters, which is simply a infinitesimal and accidental we indispensable support; the improvement of a compact to heighten concern and governmental buy-in with the Government; the scaling up of the activities of the North East Development Commission; and the scaling up of stabilization activities.
Nigeria indispensable proceed connected a maturation trajectory, which indispensable beryllium accelerated with large investments successful societal capital. The ongoing counter-insurgency effort of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) indispensable beryllium complemented with dialog and a bid gathering process.
There are truthful galore prospects, if Nigeria continues moving connected opportunities specified arsenic the promotion and implementation of the humanitarian-development-peace nexus, by prioritizing prevention always, improvement wherever feasible and humanitarian assistance erstwhile needed.
Nigeria indispensable proceed tapping into determination efforts, initiated by the United Nations and different stakeholders, to code the basal causes of insecurity; arsenic good arsenic strengthening public-private partnerships, backstage assemblage engagement, and north-south and south-south practice and interaction investment.
Passion, humility and patience
As I implicit my five-year tenure successful Nigeria, it has been a complex, challenging and absorbing play successful the work of humanity successful the state astatine large, which I accomplished with passion, humility and patience.
Going forward, I privation to promote the Government of Nigeria to prosecute a full of authorities and full of nine approach, arsenic a pathway to surmounting the recurrent information challenges the state is presently facing.
2030 is astir the corner, truthful is imperative to accelerate concern to instrumentality the Sustainable Development Goals and physique a sustainable aboriginal that benefits each Nigerians.